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'Imagine Dat! The (After) Life of Jimmy Durante'

Imagine-Dat-Durante-Poster Jon Freda, one of the stars of the web series "50 to Death," is writing and starring in "Imagine Dat! The (After) Life of Jimmy Durante," a new one man show that explores the real details of Durante's history through a story structure that places a deceased Durante in a fictional afterlife "waiting room." Durante's career as an actor, comedian, singer, and musician lasted over 50 years, spanning vaudeville music halls and Broadway theaters, feature films, radio, animation, and TV appearances.

Freda says he wrote the play because "As an actor I wanted to challenge myself with performing for an audience solo for at least an hour; to maintain and vary the nuances of a character; and I wanted to do justice to an icon with whom people could identify." After a year of research, Freda concluded that Durante "is a complex man, with ups and downs in his life which propelled him to give back to those he entertained. I chose to do a solo dramedy with some snippets of his songs, because this is not a musical, but more of a journey to include the audience about what Jimmy went through" during his long life as an entertainer.

A special one-night performance of "Imagine Dat!" (directed by Eren T. Gibson) took place Feb. 24, 2011 at 7 p.m. at the Italian American Museum, 155 Mulberry St., Little Italy, NYC (212-965-9000). A $10 donation is suggested; proceeds go to the museum.  For more info, visit www.imaginedatshow.com.

Another performance of "Imagine Dat!" will take place July 14, 2011, at 7 p.m at the Triad Theatre on W. 72nd St. (between Amsterdam & Columbus avenues) in NYC. To RSVP, call (800) 838-3006.

2012 UPDATE: Another six performances of "Imagine Dat!" will take place June 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, and 27 in 2012, at 7 p.m at BoX The Outside Theatre, 1 Bruckner Blvd. (attached to the Bruckner Bar & Grill), Bronx, NY.




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